Utilitarianism

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  • Created on: 11-03-12 11:10
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Utilitarianism
· Relativist
· `The greatest happiness for the greatest number'
· Devised by Bentham
· Hedonistic Utilitarianism : pleausrue= good , pain = evil
· Hedonic calculus: duration , intensity, remoteness, certainty, richness, purity, extent
Act
· Amount of pleasure/ pain an act will bring about
· `Principle of Utility'- right or wrongness is devised by its usefulness
· Bentham's version
Rule
· Devised by Mill
· Distinguished between higher/lower pleasures
· High- mind
· Low- body
· Took human nature into account
· Must benefit society in general
Strengths
· Reasonable to link morality with the pursuit of happiness & aversion to pain
· Democratic morality
· Common sense easy to grasp
· Designed to be practically applied to situations
Weaknesses
· Relies on accurate predictions of future which humans don't have
· More complex than suggests
· Can an act be delared good by the tests of hedonic calculus
· Morality should be focused on God not humans

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